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Emer Murphy

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Practice Overview

“One of the top juniors at the Chancery Bar” – The Legal 500 2016

Emer’s practice focuses on property, trusts and commercial disputes. She also advises on related professional liability matters

Emer offers intelligent, thorough and practical assistance.  She prides herself on being user-friendly and approachable, and she enjoys working as part of the team.

As an advocate, Emer is both engaging and tenacious. Emer regularly appears in the High Court and the County Court, both on her own account and as a junior.

She is highly-skilled in drafting and advisory work, and has worked on a significant number of high-profile, complex pieces of litigation.

What the directories say

Emer is ranked as a Leading Junior in the Pensions, Property Litigation and Professional Negligence fields by Legal 500 2016, which describes her as follows:

  • ‘Feisty and clever – a rising star.’
  • ‘One of the top juniors at the Chancery Bar; her attention to detail and rigorous analysis [are] particularly good.’
  • ‘A very good brain.’

Emer is also ranked as ‘Up and Coming’ in the Chancery Commercial (London) field by Chambers and Partners 2017, which publication describes her in the following terms:

  • ‘A thinker and a doer.’
  • ‘She adds real value and makes good contributions.’

In previous years, the legal directories have described Emer as “commercially minded”, “very persuasive”, with “very good drafting skills”; as a “well regarded, up-and-coming junior”, with “piercing intelligence”; and as having impressed clients with “the speed with which she digested the materials”.

Emer was a Legal Week Star at the Bar 2014: “Intelligence, tenacity and commercial acumen are just three of the reasons Wilberforce Chambers’ Emer Murphy is regarded as a star at the Bar.”

Recent cases

Clutterbuck v Cleghorn [2015] EWHC 2558, [2017] EWCA Civ 137

  • Emer represents the estate of a deceased businessman who is alleged to have been involved in various property joint ventures relating to exclusive properties in West London. The claimants claim millions of pounds in damages for various alleged breaches of contract and misrepresentations.
  • This case followed the explosive Clutterbuck v Al Amoudi case brought by the same claimants, in which similar allegations against Sarah Al Amoudi (dubbed “the Vamp in the Veil” by the Daily Mail) were successfully defended by Emer Murphy and Jonathan Seitler QC in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
  • In this case, the defendant’s legal team (including Emer and Jonathan Seitler QC) successfully had the majority of the claim struck out as an abuse of process relying on the principle in Aldi Stores [2008] 1 WLR 748, as the claimants had failed to bring their claim with other similar claims against Ms Al Amoudi.
  • The Court of Appeal upheld the striking out of the majority of the claimants’ case in March 2017.

Twin Benefits Ltd v Barker (2017)

  • This dispute relates to the settlement of a previous High Court case, which involved the unwinding of a multi-million-pound offshore trust.
  • Emer successfully represented professional trustee company Confiànce, in defending the claim that it failed to ensure a sufficiently good deal was secured for the potential beneficiaries of the (now unwound) trust.
  • The case against Confiànce was struck out following the claimants’ failure to provide security.
  • Emer was led by Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, XXIV Old Buildings.

Neil John Biggs v Countryside Properties (Bicester) Limited (2016)

  • Emer represented a property developer that allegedly breached its obligation to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to obtain planning permission, thereby reducing the overage amounts payable to previous landowner.
  • Emer acted as a junior to Jonathan Seitler QC at a trial in the High Court in London in May 2016. The case settled during the trial.

Swan Mill v Mercer (2016)

  • Acting as a junior to Michael Tennet QC, Emer represented the claimants (trustees of a pension scheme and the employers who pay for the scheme) in a high-value professional negligence claim against Mercers.
  • The rules of the scheme provided for a certain rate of increase to be applied to deferred pensions. Emer’s clients alleged that, negligently, Mercer administered the scheme on a different basis.
  • The case settled late 2016.